The Gospel According to: Nayyirah Waheed
Words and feelings are my religion. Music routinely takes me to church and I find my life between bars and stanzas. Sometimes jazz brings me to tears as I feel what can only be described as tugging on my heartstrings. As such, it's only right that poetry moves me as well. Art touches me to my core, and I love to follow where it leads me. One artist who routinely gives me life in this way is Ms. Nayyirah Waheed. Her words are absolute magic and this poem from salt. is a sermon.
i don't pay attention to the world ending.
it has ended for me many times and began again in the morning.
As women, especially black women, it can sometimes feel like the world is falling down around us. Even with all of our #blackgirlmagic, many of us are perpetually exhausted, carrying the weight of the world, culture, and our families on our shoulders. We fight for ourselves and others, and work tirelessly to care for our selves and our girl-tribes. Being on the cusp of our third decades, many of us are learning what #adulting costs. We are loving and losing, winning and learning, beginning to understand what it means to have aging parents, and facing our own health and wellness concerns. It can all feel like a LOT. Well, more than feeling, sometimes it IS a lot.
This piece is a reminder that there is no end to your you-ness. Your essence remains, even as things appear to fall apart. It is not your responsibility to carry the weight of the world, and survival as your beautiful self is an act of exquisite resistance. Sometimes, self-preservation requires absolution from the need to pay attention to the troubles of the world..."i don't pay attention to the world ending"...
Remember all of the times you bent but did not break? That is your strength, and you'll do it again and again. That is evidence that you can move on from whatever you're facing, and that tomorrow you can face a new day with grace and self-compassion. Carry the knowledge of your strength, and use that core to insulate all of the soft, beautiful parts of you. Don't harden yourself to cope, but use your knowledge to love yourself to life.
Amen, Ms. Nayyirah girl.